In Loving Memory of Priscilla Gilliam

May 10, 1940 – May 16, 2024

After a four-year-long battle with cancer, Falkenberg/Gilliam and Associates lost their leader, Priscilla Harriet Young Gilliam, on May 16, 2024. Priscilla has left an indelible mark on the affordable housing industry. She provided careers for many hundreds of employees and high quality housing for many thousands of seniors throughout Southern California.

Priscilla was born in San Mateo, CA, the first child of Douglas and Harriett Young. The family moved to Park La Brea Apartments in Los Angeles in the early 1950s where she grew to become a champion tennis player in her early teens.

In 1958 Pris was amongst the first graduating class at the new San Marino High School. With excellent grades and an outgoing personality, she was accepted at USC where she moved directly on campus to the dorms where she met many lifelong friends including Carol Troop whose parents owned Troop Realty. Priscilla graduated in 1962 with a Degree in Business Administration and was forever a Trojan fan attending many games and social alumni events.

She met the love of her life, Jim Gilliam, through her cousin Ned Young while he served in the U.S. Navy in San Diego. Jim swept her off her feet and introduced her to Hawaii where he was stationed in the Navy as a radio operator. Jim is a certified math whiz, majored in engineering at UCLA and oversaw the City of Los Angeles broadcast antenna systems for several decades. His deep, resonant voice was heard around the world by his friends who shared his enjoyment of conversing via HAM radio from their home in Pasadena.

Pris started her career in real estate with Troop Realty on York Blvd. in Highland Park. After a few years helping people find homes in the area, she took a position with Jack Falkenberg on Chester Ave. in Pasadena who was just getting started in the affordable housing business shortly after HUD was established as a cabinet level agency.

Priscilla was Jack’s “Girl Friday” when he opened his first property, Grace Tower, on Park Boulevard in San Diego. With the help of Priscilla, Jack completed seven HUD subsidized high-rise buildings before his untimely passing in 1978. It was a shock to everyone. Especially Priscilla. She was planning to work with Jack for the rest of her career.

After considering her options, she decided the mission of providing churches, synagogues, and other non-profit organizations with affordable housing for their seniors was too meaningful to let Jack’s dream end with his passing. Almost immediately, she assured the other employees that their jobs were secure. That the company would continue. She then pursued an arrangement with Mr. Falkenberg’s family to purchase the firm and created Falkenberg/Gilliam & Associates, Inc.

As a founding member of AHMA (Affordable Housing Management Association) Priscilla Gilliam is considered a pioneer and visionary in the affordable housing industry. All of FGA’s clients were non-profit organizations. In many cases, she would help them organize the corporation and establish a board of directors. Pris and her team would pursue the needed HUD funding, engage the architects, the contractors, hire the initial staff and oversee the ribbon cutting.

Over the years, Priscilla expanded FGA’s affordable housing property development capabilities to arrange government funding and oversee the construction and occupancy of 38 buildings. Her reputation grew by word-of mouth. Other developers and owners sought out her management services for their existing buildings. For over five decades, she worked tirelessly to develop and manage a total of 68 properties. She truly loved helping others succeed.

In the 1980s and 1990s, FGA was opening multiple buildings per year. These buildings were typically high-rise buildings that were between 100 to 300 units each. FGA’s footprint stretched from Santa Barbara to San Diego. Ms. Gilliam made a practice of personally attending every board meeting for every client building, whether quarterly or monthly. She loved what she was doing, and her positive attitude was contagious.

Priscilla was more than a business leader; she was a guiding light, a mentor and a friend. Her dedication, wisdom and work ethic have shaped the futures of many professionals. We are better individuals and a stronger team because of her influence.

Though Priscilla may no longer be with us in person, her spirit will continue to guide Falkenberg/Gilliam as we navigate the path ahead. FGA carries forward her legacy with pride. Let us honor her memory by embodying the values she held dear: continue to strive for excellence, uphold the principles of honesty and integrity, and always, “be nice.”

Priscilla is survived by her husband, Jim Gilliam, her brothers, Gregory Douglas Young and Barton Eugene Young and their families.

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